Dr. Beau Whitaker grew up around horses on his family's farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee. His father was the head of the equine program at Middle Tennessee State University, but Dr. Beau will tell you he had trouble deciding what he wanted to do when he was going through college himself. In fact, it wasn't until his senior year of veterinary school that he found his calling.
You see, much like Dr. Ben in our Navasota clinic, Dr. Beau has a passion for helping people. Sure, he loves horses, but "loving animals wasn't enough for me to decide to commit my life to it."
A Deeper Purpose
For Dr. Beau, there was a deeper purpose that needed filled, and that was helping people through helping their animals.
"It's that feeling you get when you've saved a client’s horse, or you've been a big part of them being successful… when you improve their lives through helping their horse."
For Dr. Beau, helping horses means spending his days working with equine athletes. Whether it's a dressage horse or a barrel racer, each one has their own, unique needs.
Coming To Salado
Dr. Beau graduated from Texas A&M's school of veterinary medicine in 2005 and then fell in love with the sports medicine practice during an internship at Arizona Equine.
From there he went to work with the famed quarter horses on The Four Sixes ranch, bringing him back home to Texas.
A desire to be "a little closer to civilization" brought him to Salado, where in 2007 he joined Dr. T's Equine Clinic (now known as Brazos Valley Equine Hospitals Salado).
A Day in the Life
Every day starts at 5 a.m. for Dr. Beau. He takes forty-five minutes to read, then heads to the gym before making his way to the hospital. He will make his rounds on hospital patients, and then it's off to farms and barns in the area.
While his primary focus is on sports medicine and rehabilitation, he's also been known to float some teeth or give vaccines when needed. After the farm and barn calls are done, it's back to the clinic to see the horses that people have brought in.
At home, Dr. Beau spends time with his wife Ashley, and their daughters Peyton and Kaydence. “I definitely make my family a priority.” Ashley is recently retired, which allows her time to volunteer for community organizations. The girls play basketball, volleyball, and – in keeping with the family business – show lambs.
“I make it to all ball games and sheep shows that I can,” says Dr. Beau. “It comes down to making events that my children are involved in a priority. I have gotten better at learning to say no to work when there is something important that I need to be at for my kids.”
Beau Whitaker, Artist
You’ve likely seen Dr. Beau’s other passion, even if you didn’t know it. As a graphite artist, his attention to detail could fool you into thinking that you were looking at a photograph and not a drawing.
Anyone who has been to the BVEH Vet Supply website has been greeted by a group of horses. Those magnificent steeds are hand drawn by Dr. Beau.
For a deeper look at his work, make sure to drop by his Facebook page.
You might think that western-style, rodeo horses would dominate down here in the Lonestar state. But when it comes to the sports medicine part of his practice, Dr. Beau sees an almost even split between English sport and rodeo-type horses. The interesting difference between the two, he says, is in how the owners approach the needs of their animals.
Some horses need to be in peak condition for an event three days from now, while others are focused on longevity. The question may be "what can we do to get this horse to win next week", or it may be "what's best for this animal over the next ten to fifteen years?"
Dr. Beau's passion for the animals and the happiness of their owners is apparent when you talk to him. But what he really wishes that everyone understood was how genuine that passion is. "We really are invested in our clients and our patients, and we care about their success."
Success, he says, is a different measure for every horse owner. "It might be enjoying your horse on a trail ride on a weekend, or it might be winning a competition next week. Whatever those horses need to keep doing their job or competing, it's our job to get them healthy."
This profile of Dr. Beau Whitaker is another in our series capturing just a bit of who our Doctors really are… if you like this story, we write and share regularly on our website, our Facebook page, and in our emails–sign up here.